Tuesday 04-06-2013

Another 5:45am wake-up yay! Today it was my turn to be on breakfast duty, so by 6:05 I was in the scullery, filling the sinks with hot water and soap that would later be used to wash the dishes. After breakfast, we went to the staff room where we practiced our skit. Today we were being introduced officially to the whole MaP community (about 650 students total) and we wanted to make a good first impression!

We introduced ourselves by getting on stage and playing “Who wants to be a MaP intern? Harvard Edition.” We each got introduced by Daniel and Jennifer (the “co-hosts”) with a fun fact (mine was that I can run 400 metres in 57 seconds and when Jennifer announced that, the crowd made an “oooohhhh” sound). We then all answered questions such as “what can you help the MaP students with academically?” (Spanish, maths, and biology) and “what do you do outside the classroom?” (run, dance, play football, sing in the shower, etc.)

After the assembly, we headed to the upper floor of the library where we made a questionnaire for the MaP Scholars to help get a sense of where they were SAT-wise (what their scores were, what their biggest strengths and weaknesses were, what colleges they’re thinking about, etc.) We then headed to Mr. Taylor’s house to work with them. Since we had so much energy and experience with the college process, I think we might have overwhelmed them a bit, because we were all offering great advice and talking over each other! I then had a free period where I was able to sit outside the bean bag café and use the internet. It turns out I had been calling it the “Bean Pot” café since I’ve been so used to putting those two words together (thank you Boston upbringing!)

It was then time for the tea/sandwich break, and afterward Daniel and I met with Mr. Laverick, one of the maths teachers at MaP. The poor man is on crutches, and is also the new head of the maths department. Because of this, he doesn’t really have the time to teach his Form 3 core maths section (the 10 weakest students who are in about their freshman year of high school). Daniel and I are basically taking over this class. I’m really excited that I’ll have a group of kids to call my own, and whose development I can (hopefully) watch unfold over two months, but at the same time, this is definitely going to be quite the challenge, since these kids are not very strong in mathematics at all.

Later in the day, we were actually able to sit in on this class. Well, “sit in” isn’t quite the right term. They had just taken a test, and today they got their test back and Mr. Laverick told them to start working on corrections. He then split them up into two groups, one for me, and one for Daniel. We went through the test, question by question, helping those kids who got the answer wrong fix it to the correct answer. It was right there that I could clearly see how much these kids were struggling. These were some pretty basic concepts that many of them were not able to grasp completely. However, I was able to make some progress with my group of five (although we only got through about half the test), and Daniel had the same feeling with his group of four.

After lunch, I had quite a bit of free time (basically from 1:30 to 4) so I decided to go on a run (don’t you worry, mother dearest, I wasn’t out running on the streets of Gabs by myself!) I ran inside MaP’s campus gates (and the campus itself is pretty large!) However, running in Bots is so different than running in New England. First of all, it is sooooo dry here. And hot. And sunny. But the heat and sun are things that I can deal with and that I’ve been running with basically every summer of my life. The dryness was really the big killer. I (thankfully) brought my water bottle on the run, and it was completely empty before I got back home (and I had to cut my run short because of that!)

But the run itself was (relatively) beautiful. While it was no run on the Charles, it was really neat to see all of MaP’s campus – from the playing fields, to the staff houses, to the swimming pool and everything in between. In addition, it felt really good to be back on my feet, getting my heart racing and my blood pumping again. Running is simply the best.

After my run, we headed off to the Riverwalk mall with some of the form 6 girls, who are literally saints. In one hour, they helped me get a cell phone, pick up toiletries (and they helped us find the cheap ones) and I was able to get fresh pears and bread and peanut butter at a place called Woolworths. Woolworths reminded me of a mix between Bloomingdales and Roche Brothers. Seriously, you walk in and you see relatively high end fashion, and then all of a sudden you’re in an upscale supermarket (which the girls told us was worth the extra price for the quality of the produce, and they were so right!)

We made it back in time for dinner, and then I had prep duty. This meant that I helped some of the boarding girls with their homework (including studying for a bio test, which made me think of Lulu who is doing bio right now!) I then had to make sure that the form 1 girls were physically in bed by 9:30, and that the forms 2-6 girls were in their rooms by 9:45. Soon thereafter, I was in bed, too!

TGT: 1) going shopping with the form 6 girls (especially getting pears!) 2) going for my first run in quite a while and 3) helping the girls with homework in the boarding house

Until next time,
~JK

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